US sus­pends visas for mi­grants who can’t pay for health­care

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - Times Global - Michael D Shear & Miriam Jordan

Wash­ing­ton: The Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion will deny visas to im­mi­grants who can­not prove they will have health in­surance or the abil­ity to pay for med­i­cal costs once they be­come per­ma­nent res­i­dents of the US, the White House an­nounced on Fri­day in the lat­est move by Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump to un­der­mine le­gal immigratio­n.

Trump is­sued a procla­ma­tion, ef­fec­tive Novem­ber 3, or­der­ing con­sular of­fi­cers to bar im­mi­grants seek­ing to live in the US un­less they “will be cov­ered by ap­proved health in­surance” or can prove that they have “the fi­nan­cial re­sources to pay for rea­son­ably fore­see­able med­i­cal costs.”

Trump jus­ti­fied the move by say­ing that le­gal im­mi­grants are three times as likely as US cit­i­zens to lack health in­surance, mak­ing them a bur­den on hos­pi­tals and tax­pay­ers in the US. Of­fi­cials cited a Kaiser Fam­ily Foun­da­tion study that said that among the nonelderly pop­u­la­tion, 23% of le­gal im­mi­grants were likely to be unin­sured, com­pared with about 8% of US cit­i­zens.

“The US gov­ern­ment is mak­ing the prob­lem worse by ad­mit­ting thou­sands of aliens who have not demon­strated any abil­ity to pay for their health care costs,” Trump wrote, adding, “im­mi­grants who en­ter this coun­try should not fur­ther sad­dle our health care sys­tem, and sub­se­quently Amer­i­can tax­pay­ers, with higher costs.”

Ac­cord­ing to a White House of­fi­cial , the pol­icy does not af­fect refugees, asy­lum­seek­ers or stu­dents seek­ing to at­tend col­lege in the US, ac­cord­ing to the White House.

Once the pol­icy is in place, peo­ple seek­ing im­mi­grant visas would be asked by con­sular of­fi­cers to show how they in­tend to be cov­ered by health in­surance within 30 days of ar­riv­ing in the US. That could in­clude proof they will have health care through a job or will be cov­ered un­der a rel­a­tive’s in­surance. If they can­not show that to the sat­is­fac­tion of the con­sular of­fice, their visa will be de­nied, the White House of­fi­cial said.

AFP

ACT­ING TOUGH

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